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Old-school industrials offer steely guidance

Old-school industrial companies are reporting good earnings, and they are not lowering guidance, despite exposure to Europe.

Today, Illinois Tool Works beat earnings expectations and slightly raised the midpoint of its 2014 guidance.

This is a classic multi-industry company. They are big in automotive, commercial food equipment, welding equipment, building materials, testing equipment, adhesives, lubricants and janitorial products—nerdy stuff you don't even notice, but things that we use every day. This was an impressive quarter, given that nearly 30 percent of their revenues are from Europe.

United Technologies is more well known, though it too is multi-industry. It makes heating and air conditioning systems (Carrier), elevators (Otis), aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), helicopters (Sikorsky), and aerospace products.

The conglomerate earned $1.82 per share for the third quarter, a penny beat. Europe is about 20 percent of sales. Aerospace was particularly strong, as was building. They affirmed 2014 guidance, again an impressive feat given that Europe is about 20 percent of sales.

This is a trend. It started with General Electric which last week reported strong numbers. GE maintained its guidance, but most importantly, orders were pretty good, up roughly 22 percent year over year versus 4 percent in the second quarter.

Honeywell raised the low end of its 2014 earnings and revenue guidance. Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft parent Textron also raised guidance.

Elsewhere:

1) Chipotle reported blowout numbers: $4.15 in earnings versus consensus of $3.84, and 19.8 percent comparable store sales growth. And the stock is trading down!

It seems like everyone believes Chipotle is unlikely to keep up this torrid pace. The company reiterated comparable store guidance of mid-teens sales growth for all of 2014. That is a disappointment? I don't think so, but the 2015 guidance of low-to-mid-single digit comparable store growth is a disappointment.

2) It's getting more expensive to travel and send things. Delta Air Lines, United Continental,American Airlines Group, Southwest Airlines announced average fare increases of $4 per roundtrip. UPS will raise prices an average 4.9 percent following this year's holiday season.

3) The biggest threat to workplace productivity is not Ebola. It's the flu. So says Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Last year was one of the worst flu seasons on record, with more than two-thirds of states reporting that the flu outbreak had reached 'severe' levels, they said. New York alone saw more than 15,000 reported cases in the first month of the season, compared to fewer than 5,000 in the entire previous season.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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